The African Regional Organisation of International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-AFRICA) is to hold a three days capacity building for women and youths in the Trade Unions to comprehend trade dynamics, investment intricacies, industrialisation, and their nexus with sustainable development under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
The program which is coming up on 23- 25 November, 2023 in Nairobi Kenya, was as a result of yet to be answered inquiries about AfCFTA since it’s operation in 2021.
Giving insights on some of these inquiries , ITUC-Africa Deputy General Secretary, Comrade Akhator Joel Odigie said “How will informal economy participants, mainly women and youth, benefit from AfCFTA?, Is this trade project not putting the cart before the horse, as Africa is still grappling with the basis of industrialisation?, Will the trade pact align with Sustainable Development Goal 8, fostering inclusive and sustainable economic growth and decent work for all?, and Will Africa effectively maximise the gains of AfCFTA to achieve its integration agenda?
On why Women and youths were targeted for the workshop, Comrade Odigie disclosed that “Women in Africa contribute significantly to their communities, reinvesting a substantial portion of their income.
“The informal economy and cross-border traders have more women than their male counterparts. Similarly, the youth demographic, projected to skyrocket by 2050 to increase to 605 million, presents both a challenge and an opportunity. AfCFTA promises to catalyse job creation for this burgeoning population, emphasising more labour-intensive sectors like manufacturing and agriculture.
“The initiative aims to empower these groups to comprehend trade dynamics, investment intricacies, industrialisation, and their nexus with sustainable development under the AfCFTA.
“The workshop is titled “Informal Economy Actors in Trade – the Case of Women and Youth in the AfCFTA – a Trade Union Regional Capacity Building and Engagement Workshop”.
” The three-day engagement seeks to forge a continental advocacy agenda, amplifying the voices of women and youth within trade unions, crafting policy agendas, and steering discussions on trade, industrialisation, and economic transformation. The ultimate goal is to shape a trade union resolution for adoption, advocating for equitable inclusion and opportunities for women and youth in Africa’s economic landscape.
“As Africa stands at a pivotal juncture, harnessing the potential of its youth and women becomes paramount for realising a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable future. For African trade unions, the interest is to see a practical application of the AfCFTA in ways that would promote integration, contribute to the continent’s industrialisation, and support shared prosperity. There are real concerns, but African trade unions vigilantly engage in the process”.